For the past year I have been running this blog, as well as debating atheists and liberal Christians on the popular website reddit.com. When I started this venture, it was due to a response I had after visiting the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. The museum took me on a walk directly through the history in the Bible. It showed me that by taking the events of the Bible as literal history we have a way to connect the Old Testament to the New, and a full way to offer answers for our beliefs.
I decided that I could no longer sit by and let the world stomp on my beliefs. But I am just one person, what can I do? How do I even approach this? Will people see me as bigoted, out-of-touch, uneducated? Should I care if they do? Then I heard this verse, and it changed everything:
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
I decided to call my ministry ‘Grace With Salt’. As Christians, I believe we are to be gentle, not demanding; but yet bold and uncompromising. Too much salt on our food is overwhelming, and we will just spit it out. We see this exampled in churches like Westboro Baptist that picket the funerals of soldiers and gay pride parades. Too little salt and it’s uninteresting and we spit it out as well. We see this exampled in churches who are people pleasers. These kinds of churches want to keep up with the Joneses, and often compromise Biblical authority in doing so. Both of these churches go to opposite sides of the extreme. I am looking to represent my message with the right balance of Grace With Salt; a passionate message mixed with just the right amount of challenge to make it stimulating.
From my experience talking with Christians and Atheists alike, we pretty much agree on the extreme that churches like Westboro Baptist take. They are doing it wrong! That’s fairly obvious. What most are not willing to admit is that the other extreme is just as dangerous. The other extreme includes churches that never speak out against anything for fear of being reprimanded. That does not seem to follow the example of Jesus. He was constantly speaking out against things. In fact, he was put to death for it!
There are proper ways and venues to speak up. Just because you do not like Westboro Baptist’s tactics does not mean the proper response is to say that homosexuality is acceptable. That’s going to the other extreme. There is a right way to stand on the authority of the word of God, and NOT be bigoted about it. There is a way to disagree with a part of a person’s lifestyle without hating them. In fact, we all do that every day. Think about it. I bet you disagree with certain parts of almost everyone’s lifestyles.
Grace With Salt is saying I accept you as a brother in Christ, as part of the family. I do not agree with your lifestyle, but I know we are all free in Christ. We are not in bondage to sin anymore. I pray you will find the truth, and am willing to help you find that.
You see 1 Peter 3:15 says “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
Standing up for the word of God does not mean shoving it down someone’s throat, “beating the hell out of them”. But it also definitely does not mean giving in to worldly pressures to abandon our standards in favor of the popular opinion. It means welcoming everyone (all are sinners) with open arms, forming a relationship, and gently correcting them.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
I write this post as Grace With Salt is approaching our 1 year anniversary. We are also about to hit another milestone: 10,000 views in one year! We have had views from over 70 countries. Our most popular post is “The Bible – More reliable than science” with 537 views. Other popular posts are on the evidences for Noah’s flood, and the Top 20 Creation/Evolution FAQ.
To mark this one-year anniversary we are making a major policy change. We are opening up comments on new posts. We originally decided to not allow comments because we did not like the layout, comments almost appeared to be a part of the article. We have since been able to create a better layout for comments to be added. We have never shied away from discussing our topics with those of other viewpoints, but we have regulated those discussions to Reddit, keeping a link on each page to those discussions. We now feel it best to keep with our original motto to present both sides of an argument fairly, as well as seasoned practice in defending the faith and our position, to open up comments. I hope those who wish to post alternate viewpoints will do so gracefully and with respect. Degrading comments that just aim to mock will be deleted.
Thank you all for making this a landmark year in my personal life, as well as in the life of countless thousands who have perused this site as well as monitored my discussions on Reddit. Many people think my position fails constantly in those discussion due to my extremely low ‘comment karma’, but it has come to my attention that debates are won or lost by the audience watching, not those debating. In other words, for each post I make – I get hundreds of views on my blog, but just 2-3 people debating me on it. This seems to suggest that more people than not are hearing the message, and not feeling the need to contest it. I realize this does not mean agreeance, but the relatively low number of people challenging me in comparison to the high numbers hearing the word is reassuring.
Pray for us as we continue on standing bold on the authority of the word of God against growing compromise in the world and in the church.